DVD of the Week – ‘Intelligence’ – April 29

If you haven’t seen Chris Haddock’s Canadian crime series Intelligence, you are missing one of the best shows on TV. It’s not available in most parts of the US, unfortunately, though folks close to the Canadian border can often pick it up from Canadian stations. But now the first season is available on stateside on DVD and it is well worth checking out.

To say that Chris Haddock’s Canadian TV series “Intelligence” is as good as any American crime show is unfair to Haddock. It’s better, smarter and more sophisticated than its American counterparts, more clever in its tangle of narratives and less showy in a visual style. Set in the shipping hub of Vancouver, British Columbia (the home of Haddock’s previous series, “Da Vinci’s Inquest”), “Intelligence” is a domestic espionage show about the groundwork of intelligence agents after the kind of international crime that Jack Bauer is too busy to bother with: gun running, drug smuggling, human trafficking. It’s also about the working of local crime with international reach, in particular Vancouver crime boss and marijuana smuggler Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracey, of “Da Vinci’s Inquest”), who plays informant for the ambitious head of the Organized Crime Unit, Mary Spalding (Klea Scott) in a quid pro quo exchange of information.

Visit the TV section of my DVD column on MSN for more on this and other TV releases on DVD.


Here’s a digest of the other DVD releases featured on my MSN column.

Movies: the fantasy epic The Golden Compass, Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and the American Indie The Guatamalan Handshake:

I don’t really know what to make of Todd Rohal’s eccentric, circuitous, freewheeling comedy, which is probably what I like most about it. You could say it’s about a pregnant young woman (Sheila Scullin) with a broken arm, a boyfriend (Will Oldham) gone walkabout, and a dream to drive in the demolition derby, but that doesn’t come close to capturing the unusual flavor and oddball charm.

TV: The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume Three and Bernard and Doris with Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes.

Special Releases: Anthony Mann’s The Fall of the Roman Empire (not the director’s best film, but surely one of the most gorgeous and grand historical epics ever made) and the DVD debut of the 1956 classic short fantasy The Red Balloon:

One of the most famous short films ever made, Albert Lamorisse‘s delightful 1956 fantasy follows the adventures of a boy and his balloon, which has a mind and a heart of its own. … The transfer is so vivid that the balloon seems to pop from the screen, glowing luminous red against the gray of Paris streets and skies.

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website (www.streamondemandathome.com). I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View (www.parallax-view.org).. I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly, GreenCine.com, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

5 thoughts on “DVD of the Week – ‘Intelligence’ – April 29”

  1. I was a huge fan of Intelligence, and of Chris Haddock’s TV series before that one – Da Vinci’s Inquest. Haddock is the brightest, most original talent in Canadian Television today. He is a true artist though, meaning, he tells the truth, and that makes him dangerous to the status quo. There was a sub text to Intelligence, and that was the increasing merger of Canada and the U.S. on political, philosophical, and military levels. This merger has not been mandated by the Canadian people. There is secret planning going on, for something called “The Security and Prosperity Partnership” which would include Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. This is all spelled out beautifully in the documentary You, Me, and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule, which was made by Paul Manly of Nanaimo, B. C. Canada. Paul is the son of former United Church Minister and MLA Jim Manly. You can order this DVD from Paul Manly’s Website. I saw the preview of it at Vancouver Island University, in a packed auditoreum which gave it a standing ovation. I guarantee that this film will raise your consciousness 10 points on the Richter Scale.

  2. CBC is running Chris Haddock’s TV Series this summer (June, 2009) Episode 3 of Season #1 airs on Saturday night, June 27th. It’s an exciting series and it is an education on how banks get involved with money laundering the billions of dollars involved with B. C.’s drug trade. The street level dealer is the least of this thriving industry. It also provides an illicit strip-tease peak at American/Canadian relations that we are not supposed to know anything about. Watch closely, and listen, for hints about the American designs on our lovely clean and plentiful water supply.

  3. Intelligence has been pre-empted twice already, from its Saturday night spot, 10 p.m. July, 2009. CBC just will not give writer Chris Haddock a fighting chance with this acclaimed series. They advertised the American movie Blood Diamond many times a day for weeks before they showed it. Zip for the re-showing of Intelligence. I am disappointed that Canadian talent is shoved aside by CBC, and American content is promoted. As a Canadian, I am also offended by this.

  4. Good to see an ad for the Intelligence TV series on CBC this evening. The series is running on Saturday nights (August, 2009) at 10 p.m., in B. C. Regarding the increasing merger of Canada with the U.S.A., on economic, military, and philosophic levels, which is not mandated by the Canadian people, there is a planning meeting about the so-called Security & Prosperity Partnership in Guadalajaro Mexico on August 9th & 10th, 2009. Leaders of huge corporations, and Government leaders will (covertly) be there. The press is barred. Ordinary citizens are barred. Protestors with be firmly thwarted and dismissed, and ignored. Trade agreements are being decided. These amount to deregulation of safety laws involving pollution, workplace safety, and liveable wages. It spells the end of Canadian Sovereignity. The increase of American references on Canadian Television is part of this watering down of the Canadian Identity. This is particularly evident on the CBC program The Hour, which shows a steady stream of American celebrities. Regionalism is being discouraged.

  5. Intelligence was pre-empted for the third time on Saturday night, on CBC Television, September 5th, 2009. At the so-called Security & Prosperity Partnership Meeting in Guadalahara, Mexico, in August, the press were avoiding that name, as too many people are catching on to what it actually is. It was called “The Three Amigos”.

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